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Spygate cameraman’s Super Bowl ring up for auction

superbowlring

A Super Bowl ring the Patriots gave to Matt Estrella, who launched the Spygate scandal when he was caught filming the Jets’ defensive signals in 2007, is being sold in an online auction.

Goldin Auctions is listing a Patriots Super Bowl XXXIX ring for auction, and the company says it’s the ring given to Estrella as a reward for his work for New England during the 2004 season.

The ring has faux diamonds and is neither the same size nor the same style as the ring the players received. So when we’re talking about a second-tier ring given to a guy in the video department, it may be stretching things to call this a “Super Bowl ring” at all.

Still, Goldin Auctions says the ring “ring is of a special historic nature, as it was given to Matt Estrella, who was famously the scapegoat in the videotaping ‘spygate’ affair.” If that interests you, the current bid is $5,704.

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Report: Bills G.M. “went rogue” in cutting Fred Jackson

Terry Pegula, Doug Whaley, Rex Ryan, AP

As the Bills move on from running back Fred Jackson, it’s possible that the move resulted from the actions of one specific person in the organization.

Citing two unnamed sources, Tim Graham of the Buffalo News reports that Bills G.M. Doug Whaley “went rogue” in cutting the veteran tailback.

As a source with knowledge of the situation explained it to PFT on Monday, it’s believed Whaley had wanted to cut Jackson since March, and that Whaley preferred Bryce Brown to Jackson. As PFT reported on Wednesday, Jackson would have “done anything” to stay with the team, but he never got the chance to take a pay cut or to make other concessions.

Graham says that the team will remain unified in any public comments on the situation. Privately, however, it’s hard not to wonder whether Whaley may have put even more pressure on himself by taking matters with Jackson into his own hands.

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Feely did indeed tell Judge Berman about the Jets K ball incident

Feely Getty Images

Last night, PFT surmised that free-agent kicker Jay Feely may have told Judge Richard M. Berman about the 2009 incident involving a Jets kicking ball during Feely’s unexpected trip to court in his capacity as a member of the NFL Players Association’s Executive Committee.

As it turns out, Feely did.

Appearing on The Doug Gottlieb Show, Feely said that he explained to Judge Berman the situation arising from a Jets-Patriots game.

“We talked about the similarities in that case and the differences in the way the NFL responded,” Feely said. “I didn’t get in trouble. I had no culpability in that case.”

As the kicker, Feely presumably would have been at least “generally aware” of the use of an unapproved piece of equipment by a Jets equipment employee, who was suspended as a result of the incident. But Feely was neither questioned nor disciplined.

It’s an important point, because the failure to investigate or to discipline Feely under similar circumstances shows that the NFL may have been acting arbitrarily in Brady’s case.

By Friday, we’ll find out whether Judge Berman agrees.

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Rex Ryan promises Buffalo is his last coaching job

Buffalo Bills v Cleveland Browns Getty Images

Football coaches usually don’t stay in one place for long, but Rex Ryan is hoping he has several good years ahead of him in Buffalo. Because after he’s done coaching the Bills, that’s it.

Ryan told USA Today that he’s all done in coaching after he’s done with the Bills, so whatever goals he still has as a coach, he needs to accomplish them in Buffalo.

This is definitely going to be it,” Ryan said. “This is my last stop in coaching, and then when my days are up, I’ll turn it over to the younger generation. I’m not going anywhere else.”

The 52-year-old Ryan is young enough that he could have many years ahead of him: He’s a decade younger than Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick, and a decade and a half younger than Tom Coughlin. But Ryan insists any years he has left in coaching will be with the Bills.

“I got news for you: I’m not changing. I’m going to be myself. I don’t care if you like it, or you dislike it. This is who I am,” Ryan said.

And he’ll keep being who he is in Buffalo, and then end his coaching career.

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Rolando McClain passes physical days before suspension starts

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Getty Images

Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain spent the start of training camp on the physically unable to perform list and will spend the start of the regular season on the reserve/suspended list. But for now, he’s ready for a brief stint on the active roster.

McClain has passed his physical and has been taken off the PUP list, and he’s back at practice. McClain has been out all offseason with a knee injury.

After seeming to get his career on track with the Cowboys last year, McClain was suspended this offseason for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He will miss the first four games of the season while serving his suspension.

But the good news for the Cowboys is that McClain will apparently be healthy when his suspension is over. The Cowboys are ready for him to get back on the field.

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Fifth-year options have no offset obligation

Phil Taylor AP

With the Browns deciding to cut defensive tackle Phil Taylor, who has a fully-guaranteed fifth-year option salary of $5.477 million, I initially assumed that the Browns would get a dollar-for-dollar credit for any money Taylor earns elsewhere.

As I often do, I assumed wrong.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement says nothing about offset language in the fifth-year option, and the NFL Players Association believes there’s no offset obligation. Indeed, the offset duty applies only when affirmative offset language is added to a contract. Without that express language, there’s no offset.

Which means that Taylor could indeed get $5.477 million to not play for the Browns, along with whatever he makes elsewhere.

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Report: Julius Thomas to have surgery on injured finger Wednesday

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On Monday, Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said that tight end Julius Thomas was headed for a second opinion on the finger he broke in the team’s preseason opener and that surgery was a possibility depending on the evaluation.

It looks like Thomas is headed for the operating room. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Thomas will have the surgery on Wednesday and that he could miss the next month while recovering. That’s the same general timeline Caldwell gave while discussing the possibility of surgery on Monday.

It’s a blow to the Jaguars, who spent big to get Thomas as a free agent so that he could provide Blake Bortles with a reliable target in Bortles’s second season with the club. Bortles is 39-of-60 for 461 yards and a touchdown in the preseason.

Assuming the timeline holds up, Thomas should return to the lineup sometime around the team’s Week Four game against the Colts. Clay Harbor and Marcedes Lewis are the next tight ends up for the Jaguars, who will also likely look to second-year wideouts Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee more often with Thomas out of the lineup.

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Packers set their 75-man roster

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The Packers have made the necessary roster moves to get their roster down to 75 players.

It’s a list short on recognizable names other than wide receiver Jordy Nelson, who was placed on injured reserve after tearing his ACL in the team’s second preseason game of the summer.

Nelson’s injury didn’t help wide receivers Javess Blue, Jimmie Hunt or James Butler avoid the waiver wire. Their departures leave the Pack with eight wideouts still on the roster with Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis and Myles White looking like sure or strong bets to survive final cuts as well.

The Packers also waived linebacker Tavarus Dantzler, tackle Fabbians Ebbele, linebacker Josh Francis, defensive tackle Lavon Hooks, tackle Vince Kowalski, quarterback Matt Blanchard, linebacker Adrian Hubbard, defensive back Kyle Sebetic and tight end Harold Spears.

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Trindon Holliday among the cuts as Raiders get down to 75

Trindon Holliday, Seth Roberts AP

The NFL’s shortest player is among the cuts as the Raiders trimmed their roster to 75.

Kick returner Trindon Holliday, the 5-foot-5 former track star who has made some big plays but also had some costly fumbles in his NFL career, was among the veterans the Raiders cut today. Oakland also cut veteran cornerbacks James Dockery and Ras-I Dowling.

The Raiders waived punter Steven Clark, cornerback Rob Daniel, quarterback Cody Fajardo, receiver Josh Jarper, guard Lamar Mady, running back Trent Richardson, receiver Kenbrell Thompkins and receiver Milton Williams.

Offensive tackle Menelik Watson was placed on injured reserve with a ruptured Achilles, and safety Jimmy Hall was waived/injured.

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Bears claim Zac Dysert off waivers

Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks Getty Images

Bears backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen has a concussion and the team made a move Tuesday to give themselves some more help at the position.

Agent Mike McCartney announced on Twitter that his client Zac Dysert has been claimed off waivers by Chicago. Dysert was cut by the Broncos as they made their way to 75 players this week.

The move may not just be a temporary one. Dysert was a seventh-round pick by Denver in 2013, which means he spent the first two years of his career in an offense coordinated by Adam Gase on a team coached by John Fox. That’s the same situation in Chicago and Gase might prefer to have Dysert on hand even after Clausen is healthy enough to resume his role as the No. 2 behind Jay Cutler.

Reports out of Chicago are that undrafted rookie quarterback Shane Carden will be waived to make room for Dysert on the roster. The Bears also have David Fales on the depth chart at the position.

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Which Final Four team is most likely to not win its division?

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History tells us that roughly half the teams that made the playoffs last year won’t be back in 2015. Of the four teams that made it to the conference title games, which one is most likely to not win its division?

That’s the poll question for Tuesday’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN. Answer it now, then tune in at 6:00 p.m. ET for the show.

The show will consist of a lot more than answering that question. To find out what it will make the 30-minute cut, tune in to NBCSN at the top of the hour for Rodney Harrison, Paul Burmeister, and yours truly.

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Judge Berman “anticipates” Brady ruling by end of the week

Roger Goodell AP

On Monday, Judge Richard Berman said that he fully expected to issue a ruling in the Tom Brady case on Tuesday or Wednesday.

It’s after 5 p.m. on Tuesday in New York and there’s been no ruling issued yet, so it seems unlikely to be delivered on September 1. September 2 may not be the day either based on an order issued by Berman on Tuesday afternoon.

“The Court anticipates issuing its Decision and Order by the end of the week,” Berman wrote, via Bob McGovern of the Boston Herald.

That leaves more time to go over the potential rulings that Berman could make and the responses that the NFL and/or Brady could have to those rulings, although it’s probably safe to say that just about everything that could be said about the case, the suspension, the meaning of the nickname “Deflator,” courtroom sketch artists and the Ideal Gas Law has already been said at this point.

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Texans owner says J.J. Watt wouldn’t destroy his phone like Brady

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans Getty Images

Texans owner Bob McNair puts the blame for Deflategate squarely on Tom Brady, saying that if Brady would have cooperated with the NFL’s investigation, the matter could have been resolved much more easily.

McNair said on 610-AM in Houston that a player should be willing to cooperate with the league, and that he’d expect his own best player to cooperate in a league investigation.

“What escalated the whole thing is that Brady and the Patriots were going to cooperate fully, and then when it came down to it, they didn’t,” McNair said, via ESPN. “If it was J.J. Watt, I think he would have been cooperative, and it wouldn’t be a question. . . . I don’t think J.J. would destroy his cell phone.”

McNair is convinced that the Patriots deflated footballs to gain an edge, and that the NFL did the right thing in cracking down.

“In the minds of somebody in that organization, they thought it was important. They thought it would give them a competitive advantage, and that’s why they did it,” McNair said.

As Roger Goodell continues to face criticism over Deflategate, McNairs comments indicate that at least one of Goodell’s 32 bosses think he has done his job well.

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Falcons say goodbye to Peter Konz

Atlanta Falcons v Baltimore Ravens Getty Images

The Falcons have spent a lot of time in recent years looking for offensive linemen that would solidify their protection and run blocking, something that might not have been necessary if their decision to draft Peter Konz in the second round of the 2012 draft had been a hit.

It was a miss, however. Konz struggled during his first two years in the league, tore his ACL last year and won’t get another chance to turn things around in Atlanta.

The Falcons announced Tuesday that they have waived the interior lineman with an injury settlement, which leaves them at the mandated 75 players. Konz started 28 games over his three seasons with the Falcons, but his performance was lacking as both a pass and run blocker.

Atlanta heads toward the cut to 53 players with Mike Person, Joe Hawley, James Stone, Chris Chester and Jon Asamoah as options to play in the interior and could be looking for players to push or bolster that group once other teams trim the fat from their rosters.

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Will Beatty to PUP as Giants go down to 74 players

New York Giants v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

The Giants only needed to cut their roster to 75 players on Tuesday, but they went a little further and left themselves with an open roster spot to use between now and Saturday’s cut to the 53-man roster.

Among the moves that the Giants made was placing left tackle Will Beatty on the regular season PUP list. Beatty tore his pectoral in the spring and placing him on that list keeps open the option of bringing him back late in the season if he’s sufficiently healed. It also leaves the injured reserve/return slot, which can’t be used until after the cut to 53 players, given to each team open in the event of another severe injury that doesn’t end a season.

The Giants placed defensive backs Josh Gordy and Bennett Jackson on injured reserve. Jackson tore his ACL as part of the run of injuries the Giants have suffered at safety this summer while Gordy has a hip injury.

Wide receiver Juron Criner, offensive lineman Michael Bamiro, defensive back Justin Halley, offensive lineman Eric Herman, offensive lineman Derrick Johnson, punter Robert Malone, defensive end Jordan Stanton, defensive tackle Jimmy Staten, tight end Will Tye, offensive lineman Brandon Mosley and running back Akeem Hunt were all let go.

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Pete Carroll: We haven’t made decision on Fred Jackson yet

Fred Jackson, Justin Houston AP

It didn’t take long for the Seahawks to set up a visit with running back Fred Jackson after he was released by the Bills, but an announcement about a signing may take a little longer.

Coach Pete Carroll said Tuesday that running back Robert Turbin has a high ankle sprain that will keep him off the field for a while and led to the Seahawks reaching out to Jackson, although Carroll said they may have been interested anyway. As of now, though, it’s just a visit and not a signing.

“We have not made that decision at all at this point,” Carroll said, via Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com.

The interest in Jackson as a potential fill-in for Turbin is easy to understand given Jackson’s long record of both NFL success and sharing backfields with other backs, including a spell with Marshawn Lynch in Buffalo. It doesn’t say much for Christine Michael’s chances of getting a long look in the backfield this season, although his number could still come up if things don’t work out with Jackson.

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